Google joins tech crowd at the [email protected] Building/Block

Add Google's brand name to the growing tech hub in and around the [email protected] Building in downtown Detroit.

Two years ago, the Quicken Loans family of companies, owned by Dan Gilbert, opened the [email protected] Building overlooking Grand Circus Park with the idea of it becoming the center of a hub for tech startups and investors. Today there are 25 startups in the building and a number of its initial tenants have grown so much that they have established their own offices in nearby buildings.

Detroit Labs, a mobile app firm, now has two floors of space in 1520 Woodward to accomodate its growing workforce. Stik, a startup that helps confirm online reviews of businesses are written by real people through Facebook activity, is now taking space in 1528 Woodward a floor below where Bizdom and its startups now call home.

"They're growing," Gilbert says. "When you’re out of space you’re out of space so we needed to look around the corner."

That sort of growth attracted Google, the latest of Silicon Valley's big names to take notice of Detroit. Twitter opened an office in the [email protected] Building last year. The search engine giant recognized the block of Woodward between the [email protected] and 1500 Woodward, now being rebranded as the [email protected] Block, as a member of the new Google for Entrepreneurs Tech Hub Network. There are seven of these hubs, designated by Google, across North America. The network is meant to support entrepreneurs in Detroit by providing greater access to Google experts, products and a number of specialized Google events.

"They have created a nexus of entrepreneurship and activity here," says Michael Miller, head of Google’s Ann Arbor office.

Source: Dan Gilbert, founder & chairman of Quicken Loans and Michael Miller, head of Google’s Ann Arbor office
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.